ISIS convoy treks ahead despite US strikes threat

2017-09-02 18:05
Some of the buses used in the convoy. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

Some of the buses used in the convoy. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

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Beirut — Dozens of ISIS members and their families have crossed into areas controlled by the extremists despite US threats to bomb the convoy days after they left the Lebanon-Syria border, Syrian opposition activists said on Saturday.

The opposition activists' announcement came after the US-led coalition fighting ISIS said the 17-bus convoy of ISIS militants and their families that left the Lebanon-Syria border six days ago is still stranded in the Syrian desert.

More than 300 militants and their families are in the convoy after vacating the border area as part of a Hezbollah-negotiated deal to transport them to an ISIS-held town in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.

Hezbollah said in a statement on Saturday that warplanes of the US-led coalition are still preventing the convoy from moving east and barring anyone on the government side from reaching them warning that the wounded and elderly people could die.

Hezbollah said that six buses are still in areas controlled by the Syrian government and warned that if they are hit civilians will be killed. It added that if aid does not reach the convoy because of the aerial imposed siege, "only the Americans will bear the responsibility" for what happens.

"The so-called international community and international institutions should intervene to prevent the occurrence of an ugly massacre," the Lebanese group said.

The US-led coalition issued a statement on Friday saying it has sought an unspecified solution that would save the women and children in the convoy from further suffering.

Earlier this week, an airstrike by the US-led coalition created a crater in a road that the buses had intended to take and destroyed a small bridge to prevent the convoy from moving further east.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said dozens of fighters and civilians left the buses and drove into ISIS-held parts of the eastern province of Deir el-Zour in 12 civilian vehicles.

Opposition activist Omar Abu Laila, who is from Deir el-Zour and currently lives in Europe, gave an account similar to that of Abdurrahman adding that most of them have crossed over. Abu Laila is with DeirEzzor 24, an activist group that has reporters throughout the eastern province.

 

Read more on:    isis  |  syria

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